Move over, mussel- you’re sitting on my thread.
Author Stephen R. Swinburne uses rhyming poems to describe twelve animals that live in the Atlantic and Pacific tide pools. Hairy Doris is a sea slug that gathers food with her tongue. The mean-looking lobster is portrayed as the ‘bully of the tide’ and the sculpin as the ‘old, cold fish.’
How’s a mussel s’posed to eat
In this overcrowded bed?
Move over, mussel - you know I got here first.
There are way too many mussels here.
This bed’s about to burst!
(from “Move Over, Mussel”)
Although this book is meant to be amusing and lighthearted, facts do appear throughout the book. Information about the animals’ diet, appearance, and survival mechanisms are incorporated into the poems and in short paragraphs at the bottom of each page.
Rendered in pencil and painted in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, the illustrations reveal a lively and interactive underwater community. With their wide-eyed stares and big smiles, most of the animals look friendly (the two exceptions are the grumpy lobster and sculpin but their appearance is more amusing than frightening).
After reading these poems or some of the books and websites listed on the resource page at the end of the book, children will learn to take notice - but be cautious - around tide pools.
A former park ranger, Stephen R. Swinburne is a graduate of Castleton State College and the author of several children’s nonfiction books, including Turtle Tide: The Ways Of Sea Turtles and Wings of Light: The Migration of the Yellow Butterfly. He lives in Vermont.
Born in Iowa, Mary Peterson is the illustrator of the picture books Wiggle and Waggle, No Time to Nap and Cat on Wheels. She lives in California.